Thirty-one years ago I became a mother for the first time. I don’t often take the opportunity to reflect, but today was different.
I was thirty years old when my daughter was born. It was considered a high-risk pregnancy by the medical field due to my age. That’s kind of funny to think about now. Today a lot of women aren’t really in the planning stages about becoming a mother at that young age.
I remember going for a routine check on Friday afternoon. The doctors had been watching my blood pressure, swelling and other things that would indicate Toxemia, a condition in pregnancy, also known as pre-eclampsia, characterized by abrupt hypertension (a sharp rise in blood pressure), albuminuria (leakage of large amounts of the protein albumin into the urine) and edema (swelling) of the hands, feet, and face. Pre-eclampsia is the most common complication of pregnancy. It affects about 5% of pregnancies. It occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy according to Medicine.net.
At that Friday visit my blood pressure was high enough for the doctor to send me to the hospital, twelve days before due date. I wasn’t a happy camper, not relishing the fact that I would be restricted to bed rest, but off we went.
Shortly after arriving at the hospital and trying to get comfortable so I could sleep, I decided to make one more trip to the bathroom. While I was in there, I felt a strange sensation and suddenly the floor was extremely wet. Having no idea what it felt like when your water breaks, I hit the call button and told the nurse who answered that I thought my water had broken.
After arriving in my room and wading through the mess on the floor the nurse said, “You THINK your water broke? Honey, this is a flood”. I actually felt good knowing that it wasn’t a false alarm after all!
What ensued after that was a painful twenty-seven hour labor. Because my blood pressure was so high they put me on magnesium sulfate to keep me from stroking out. And since I was having no contractions they told me that if things hadn’t progressed by morning, they would begin inducing labor.
Things hadn’t progressed and so they did. Finally, because my baby was showing stress, they did an emergency C-section and our baby girl was here!
I thought I would have a boy, because there were mostly boys on both sides of our families, so I was elated when the doctor told us it was a girl. I immediately envisioned all the mother-daughter things we would do over the years, as my little girl was grew up.
Things don’t always work out the way you plan. I adored this precious, sweet and gentle baby I had been blessed with. She was an easy baby, except that she didn’t like naps and sleeping during the night wasn’t that great either, but besides that, she was a happy baby.
She had some developmental delays while growing up. She didn’t really talk until she was around six years old, in language that we understood anyway, and there were lots of pauses and repeating sounds when she did talk. There were motor skill and cognitive issues and tactical hypersensitivity too. But she was a joy!
All the dreams and plans, the things I thought would transpire, kind of didn’t as my mother-daughter dreams began to fade. Instead came plans and goals to enable her to better navigate life and all that entailed. It was not what I had envisioned, but some things seldom are.
That’s life, thinking one thing and pivoting when something goes awry. I am reminded of a quote credited to John Lennon, though I am pretty sure it originated somewhere else, “Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans”. So true.
The plans I had were different but not wrong. They were unexpected for me, but God knew. He had a plan. My daughter was very adaptable and learned a lot of things she may never had known without these issues she faced. Perhaps she would have never gotten involved in things she has a great passion for if it wasn’t for this adversity in her life. I have written about those things in My Daughter Is My Hero. I also wrote My Daughter, where I share a piece that she wrote about how she has learned to deal with the struggles in her life that she didn’t ask for.
From labor and delivery, even the timing of becoming pregnant, none of those things were MY plans or desires, but God sees the whole picture from His vantage point.
I’m not the only one who’s life has gone a different way than planned. You too have had hopes and dreams dashed as unexpected things turn your life upside-down. For that I am sorry for the pain it caused and the loss you experienced. I rejoice too in the benefits and life lessons you have gained because of the very same things.
May you find grace and peace to enjoy the blessings you have as you navigate the unplanned-for situations in your life.